It comes from the motor racing I did many (many) years ago, you can only judge if changes have had an effect when testing on the same circuit in the same or similar conditions.
Having built up a bit of a stable and being fortunate enough to have some woods within easy reach, where I have ridden every mtb I have ever owned, I thought it would be fun to put a route together that tested every aspect of the bikes. That has allowed me to compare one to the other. I'm glad you like it, I have certainly learnt a thing or two about each of my bikes, mostly with the Zaskar, I learnt that I knew nothing about gearing when I built it. EDIT:
Having checked the BCD of the cranks, it turns out the granny ring has a BCD of 74, which means the smallest chaining I can get has 24 teeth. Maybe my options were limited back then, I certainly wouldn't match a 26 tooth chainring with a 28 tooth 1st gear these days (no sense of adventure). So, chainring first, then possibly a 12-32 Sachs freewheel (NOS).
"Try not to punch any clowns"